New Stroke VTE Safety Recommendations: Four Key Steps to Better Health Outcomes

In recent editorial for Vascular Disease Management, health advocates write about the new Stroke VTE Safety Recommendations, which they say will provide four key steps to better health outcomes.

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Mark J. Alberts, MD (Clinical Vice-Chair for Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, UT Southwestern Medical Center), Laurie Paletz, BSN, PHN, RN-BC (Stroke Program Coordinator, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center), and Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety) write:

New Stroke VTE Safety Recommendations provide 4 key steps to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in stroke patients. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) are common peristroke complications. DVTs are found in 40% to 80% of stroke patients, and PEs are present in 10% to 15% of all stroke patients, with PEs accounting for 13% to 25% of early deaths after a stroke.1 Below we discuss these 4 steps from the new Stroke VTE Safety Recommendations and encourage all clinicians to assess and treat stroke patients for venous thromboembolism (VTE)

Assessing and treating stroke should be done in as short a period of time as possible. Successful health outcomes in stroke patients often depend on having as short a door to treatment time as possible. Delays in evaluation and initiation of therapy should be avoided, because the opportunity for improvement is greater with earlier treatment. This means not only having a collaborative team effort, but also looking at anything that might shorten door-to-treatment times, including designated parking for stroke patients. Unfortunately, the provision of needed prophylaxis has been suboptimal.

The new Stroke VTE Safety Recommendations, developed by a group of leading neurological health and patient safety experts brought together by the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety, provide a concise and standardized application of the latest research and best practices. We encourage clinicians to avail themselves of this free resource. 

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To read a complete copy of the editorial, please click here.

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